Write a screenplay in 30 days. Now, teach your 7 year old to write a screenplay in 30 days. Sweet tea for everyone.
Have you heard of Script Frenzy? No?
Have you heard of National Novel Writing Month? No?
Script Frenzy and National Novel Writing Month are online communities where a bunch of motivated people publicly resolve to write either a screenplay (in June) or a novel (in November) in a month. There is no fee, there is no prize, there is no judging, there are no repercussions for failure -- it's just a way to throw yourself into writing in a mad dash, rather than a thoughtful stroll, along with a bunch of other people doing the same thing.
Fun! I have done Nanowrimo for three years now, and last year Benny did it with me. His novel reached 5000 words (he dictated it to me) and was awesome! This is the first year for Script Frenzy, and I thought, hey, why not drag Benny along for this too. So, we're doing it.
I'm leading Benny and his friend Zoe through this process, or rather watching as they go through it together. It's pretty cool! So far they've learned about character roles (protagonist, antagonist, supporting characters, foils) and plot structure, and archetypal plots -- like the quest plot (Hobbit) vs. the return home plot (Alice in Wonderland) or in some cases both (Wizard of Oz). All this discussion has led to some really interesting discussion and dissection of the movies they know.
For example, Benny told me that the initiating action in "Cars" is when McQueen falls off the semi truck, not when he ties in the race at the beginning. He likened it to Alice going down the rabbit hole and you know what? He's right. I was wrong. The initiating action, or the clinch, or the point of no return, or whatever you call it, is when the character's life goes right off the path and nothing can ever be the same again. So Benny is really understanding this plot stuff -- possibly better than I am!
His movie is called "Benny's Adventures in the Norfolk City World and Beyond the Earth."
I'm writing one too. May we both have interesting months. :D
In unrelated news, here's a picture of Benny with his little sister and one of his favorite dogs: